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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: People clinging to guns... on: December 07, 2011, 12:32:16 am
Do you think, maybe, that the kind of people that carry guns...I don't know, might have a good reason sometimes?  And that reason is why they are more likely to be shot than the having a gun part is?  Like the guy working at the pawn shop in the shady part of town taking the days cash income to the bank.  Or the jewlrey store owner.  Or the hundreds and hundreds of other situations.  I'm not saying it makes up all of the "four times more likely to get shot" part, but I bet it goes a long way to that end.

And I'm pretty sure no sane person has ever said that a woman having a gun is the ONLY way to be safe.

This would be relevant if only a small portion of people carried guns. But, at least in places where carrying is legally simple, an enormous portion of the population carries guns, far more than this argument could possibly accomodate.
2  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Florida on: December 07, 2011, 12:27:15 am
Krazen, your map violates the FRA (or whatever it's called). There's an unnecessary and illegal county split between Dade and Broward; you only need one to simultaneously create three Hispanic districts and one black district, as my map showed (and you need a split both for population equality and to create the black district--actually I think you might be able to create a majority black district all in Dade, but it has to reach down U.S. 1 all the way to Homestead in a long tail and looks ridiculous).

If you say so. No court has found such, so its merely an opinion that isn't taken seriously.

The law is quite explicit in saying that county splits are to be minimized (but subordinated to racial considerations), so you should take it seriously. I would not be shocked if the politicized Florida judiciary found otherwise, of course...

"[D]istricts shall, where feasible, utilize existing political and geographical boundaries." Clearly, not bridging the Dade-Broward line more than once is feasible, and it does not violate any of the other provisions.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Russian electoral type event: 2011 (Duma) on: December 07, 2011, 12:25:26 am
Pretty sure what happened in Moscow was ballot-stuffing for UR, not full-fledged fabrication of the results like what happened in Chechnya and probably some places elsewhere.
4  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Florida on: December 07, 2011, 12:05:26 am
Krazen, your map violates the FRA (or whatever it's called). There's an unnecessary and illegal county split between Dade and Broward; you only need one to simultaneously create three Hispanic districts and one black district, as my map showed (and you need a split both for population equality and to create the black district--actually I think you might be able to create a majority black district all in Dade, but it has to reach down U.S. 1 all the way to Homestead in a long tail and looks ridiculous).
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: U.S. House Redistricting: New Jersey on: December 06, 2011, 06:24:39 pm
The thing about combining Rothman and Garrett is where Garrett lives. A "fair fight" district in Bergen is totally feasible, but a district that includes a large portion of Bergen and stretches all of the way out to Sussex is almost impossible due to population constraints and very unlikely to be a fair fight. I suppose they could put Garrett and Frelinghuysen (or Garrett and Lance) together and then make Rothman's district marginal to "compensate" (unfair since Republicans are already overrepresented, and Lance's district is obviously the one that "should" be eliminated, in addition to Pallone being drawn out of his district [but the district itself surviving as a D seat], but whatever), but that doesn't seem like what the commission is suggesting.
6  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: best McCain% ED in the country? on: December 06, 2011, 05:29:01 pm
Not really. There are at least five 100% McCain districts in Florida, for example, which has a lot of electoral districts with only a handful of people.
7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Florida on: December 06, 2011, 05:21:17 pm
Here's my fair map of Dade and Broward Counties. Since non-Cuban Hispanics actually outnumber Cubans in Dade County, they got two districts and Cubans got only one.
Can't you read numbers? Cubans are a majority of the Hispanic population in the county.


Yeah, I misread that. I noticed and fixed it before you posted.
8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Florida on: December 06, 2011, 04:53:14 pm
Here's my fair map of Dade and Broward Counties. There's no reason for Cubans to be dominating all three Hispanic districts, certainly; Hispanics should be considered as a group, and this map is much more geographically reasonable.

Blue: 57.7-42.3 Obama; 26.8W, 12.1B, 57.6H (VAP) (includes Monroe County)
Green: 54.8-45.2 Obama; 25.4W, 5.9B, 66.1H
Purple: 84.9-15.1 Obama; 10.8W, 50.6B, 34.7H
Red: 37.8-62.8 McCain; 6.4W, 1.5B, 90.6H
Gold: 73.3-26.7 Obama; 43.6W, 35.0B, 17.3H (plurality black on overall population, would definitely elect a black-preferred Congressman, and quite compact)
Teal: 61.7-38.3 Obama; 53.5W, 10.9B, 29.5H (unfortunately, most of the remaining blacks and Hispanics are in the SW corner, inaccessible for the gold district)

9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Florida on: December 06, 2011, 04:40:52 pm
The Hispanic areas north of Hialeah (but still in Dade County) are actually very Democratic, like 65% Obama. I guess the Cubans don't live up there?
10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Florida on: December 06, 2011, 04:27:22 pm
What are the growth rates of the Cubans vs non Cubans in Dade? This decade it's almost a sure thing that the Cubans will crack the non Cubans again, probably successfully, for 10 years; you can accomplish that fairly easily while still placing 1 (or even 2) districts entirely in Dade.

Eventually though they might quarantine off all the Democratic Hispanics at the south end and use to Cubans to crack the semi liberal whites.

I don't think this is really geographically possible. Nearly all of the non-Hispanic whites in Miami County live either (a) on the barrier islands or the nearby mainland, or (b) south of the city.

The northern whites are inaccessible except through the black areas (obviously not possible) or through downtown Miami. They would have to all be in one district because it's just too narrow to partition them otherwise. Drawing a district like that, I end up with 54% Obama--might be possible to lower that to 51-2% if you're more precise, but it can't go much lower, which is far from safe.

The southern whites are surrounded by and interspersed with non-Cubans, so they would go naturally in a south-Dade-and-Monroe Hispanic Democratic district (which is around 57-58% Obama and around 60% Hispanic VAP).
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Belgian Thread on: December 06, 2011, 02:37:24 pm
Good luck, Belgium.


^

You'll need it.
12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Unemployment 8.6% on: December 06, 2011, 02:27:22 pm
I've been defensively looking for work for the past couple of days and from that I've gathered, if you have a CDL or work in the medical field, you ain't hurting for work.  Also lots of entry level work, but that's to be expected I guess.  Everybody else is screwed.

Not really...

I think he meant in the medical/health field (doctors, nurses, technicians), which is true. Obviously not true generally.
13  Election Archive / 2012 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: IA PrimR: We Ask America: Gingrich with a solid lead on: December 06, 2011, 02:17:08 pm
Looks from all these recent polls that Bachmann started running TV ads.

Bachmann is actually flat since WAA's last poll.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Newt Gingrich calls on US ambassador to Belgium to be fired on: December 05, 2011, 11:49:21 am
I think he's wrong about the causes of Antisemitism, especially since a large portion of Muslims in the world are Semites.  I also think you can be anti-Israel and not be an anti-Semite, and vice versa. 

Please spare us the idiotic word play.  Yes, it is a bad choice of phrase, but anti-Semitism is a synonym for anti-Jew, not not anti-Jew or Arab.

The guy is a diplomat; he's not suppose to make "a bad choice of phrase."  It's like talking about Montezuma's revenge in front of the president of Mexico.

Not nearly so extreme, and the analogy would only work if he were the ambassador to Israel anyway.
15  Election Archive / 2012 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: New NBC/Marist polls for IA and NH on: December 05, 2011, 11:25:35 am
Jesus those are crappy numbers for Obama in New Hampshire.
Up by 10 points against the current frontrunner? I'll take it.

And only down by three against someone who's been campaigning there for the better part of a year? Great news for Obama.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Special state legislative elections thread (see OP for results/upcoming races) on: December 05, 2011, 11:20:13 am
I don't think the second most McCain district was as close percentage wise to him than that district to Obama. Do you have the numbers?

He's talking about Dov Hikind's Assembly district, which is totally irrelevant to the discussion but was extremely strong for McCain, like 70% or so. Of course, Presidential vote is meaningless in that part of the world.


I think he is talking about Carl Kruger's state senate seat.


He's not; that seat is fairly Republican but far from the second-most Republican in the state. It's maybe R+5 or so.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Asian-Americans Lean Left Politically on: December 05, 2011, 11:15:39 am
*Asians have the lowest rates of church attendance and are the least religious of the major racial groups in the U.S.

Biggest cause for them leaning left IMO. The inverse thing (so religious) is true for blacks and hispanics leaning right socially no?

I've always felt that modern conservatism couldn't exist in its current form or numbers without religion.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/125021/mormons-conservative-major-religious-group.aspx




Sort of true. Even religious Asian groups like Koreans and Filipinos tend to be Democrats, though. (Koreans are particularly mysterious as they are generally well-off and are mostly evangelicals--Filipinos are mostly Catholics and in general relatively poor.)
18  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Why in the end Newt will not be the nominee on: December 05, 2011, 10:58:03 am
More importantly, Congress is so ludicrously unpopular that, if every single House Republican said Gingrich was incompetent, that would probably increase public support for him in the Republican Party.

There are reasons Gingrich might lose the primaries. This is not one of them.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Special state legislative elections thread (see OP for results/upcoming races) on: December 05, 2011, 08:49:16 am
I don't think the second most McCain district was as close percentage wise to him than that district to Obama. Do you have the numbers?

He's talking about Dov Hikind's Assembly district, which is totally irrelevant to the discussion but was extremely strong for McCain, like 70% or so. Of course, Presidential vote is meaningless in that part of the world.
20  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Ohio Demographic Maps on: December 04, 2011, 11:05:32 pm
TJ, I had mentioned in a thread months ago that OH-11 was the best CD against the gay marriage ban. Are the white areas of OH-11 especially liberal or are the black areas less anti-gay than expected?

I would guess that the whites in Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, etc. are the most socially liberal people in Ohio, save maybe the college-related people in Athens or government workers living in downtown Columbus. Case Western is a pretty big college, too.
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Newt Gingrich calls on US ambassador to Belgium to be fired on: December 04, 2011, 09:53:04 pm
I think the bad thing about what Gutman said is his implication that Muslim Antisemitism should not be condemned because it stems from Israel's actions. Antisemitism doesn't happen in a vacuum, there is always some reason but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be condemned.

And I don't know what your problem is with the weekly standard, they were merely copying an article from Ynet, so you should complain about them first if you have a problem with the way the article was written.

I think what he meant wasn't that Muslim anti-Jewish views shouldn't be condemned, but that they are fundamentally different from the frenetic, insane and completely unjustified anti-Jewish views of historical anti-Semitism (and modern descendants of it, as far as they exist, which isn't very far), and that failing to distinguish between sources and motivations causes trouble. Muslims in the Middle East who hate "Jews" don't hate Jews because they think Jews drink the blood of newborns or are plotting to take over the world the way medieval anti-Semites or Nazi anti-Semites, respectively, believe(d). They hate Jews because they equate Jews with Israel and hate Israel for the long-running conflict between Arabs and Israel in which there is no side obviously "in the right"--which at least grounds the hatred in something tangible.

Of course, sometimes the former and the latter get combined. There was a weak strain of historical anti-Semitism in the Middle East well before the first Zionists arrived in the Mandate of Palestine, and that kind of frenetic hatred comes out sometimes. And there is no doubting that the hatred of everything Israel has somewhat translated into religious hatred as well. But it is also true that a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that was accepted as legitimate by a lot of Muslims/Arabs would put a rest to a lot of the anti-Jewish settlement in the Muslim world.
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Next country to legalize same-sex marriage on: December 04, 2011, 09:35:26 pm
Governments in Denmark and Uruguay have both pledged to legalize it, so I would assume they will be next. Uruguay is most likely to be next; the bill has been pending since September (not sure how long legislation takes to pass in Uruguay, but given the pledge I suspect it will happen soon--legislation has not yet been introduced in Denmark, so it will probably take longer).

Australia is unlikely any time soon as they need a whipped ALP vote or a conscience Liberal vote to pass it (right now, ALP plans conscience while Liberals plan to whip). And the ALP is likely to lose the next election, at least as it looks right now.

23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: December 04, 2011, 03:18:08 pm
I think Marriage certificates should be given to pregnant women in order to compel their Male Lovers to provide child support.  
You want to force people into marriage? Just FYI, if two people are married, then there's typically no need for child support. It's when they're not married that you typically see court orders forcing men (and very rarely women) to pay child support.
While we're dictating our desires for legalities and parenthood, I very much want to see a mandatory DNA test before any man can be listed as a father on a birth certificate. I don't care if the couple is married or not. Men have a right to know, and having to ask for such a delicate thing is an undue burden.
I'm sure there are financial benefits to legalized gay unions, but I don't know them right now?
Basically, marriage is a financial contract between the 2 spouses, and in the event of a divorce the richer spouse pays alimony to the poorer spouse.  

Married couples are taxed preferentially to unmarried couples in the income tax, particularly if they have disparate incomes (if one is a stay-at-home parent). Additionally, married couples are entitled to increases in certain child support and other family government credits (generally also in their tax payments/refunds). Additionally, there are no estate taxes on transfers between spouses (only applicable to about 0.1% of the population, but still), and no gift taxes on transfers within the marital unit, taxes that unmarried couples must pay.

Furthermore, there are a raft of other, less tangibly economic benefits like hospital visitation rights that are extended to spouses and not to unmarried couples.
I suppose its okay for gay couples to use the government marriage licenses for financial gain and personal gain, even though I don't see the point of gay marriage oversight.  The reason those marriage laws and marriage benefits exist are to protect the rights of unemployed housewives.

This isn't true. Households in which both spouses work receive equal benefits.

Quote
In theory, both gay spouses have the ability to work if they don't have children.

This is also true of straight spouses.

Quote
Even if gay spouses have children, the biological parents must pay child support under federal laws.

This is false. Biological parents do not have to pay child support, and very few same-sex couples with children receive any kind of child support from biological parents. Most same-sex couples with children either adopted those child or had them through surrogates, where child support is not an issue. Among those few who did not, almost none receive child support.

Quote
I don't think gay couples should get tax breaks and skip out of federal and state taxes when those taxes are needed to actually help biological families with biological children for things such as public schools.

If the point is to subsidize schools, couples without children should pay more taxes regardless of marital status or orientation. That would be arguable (probably idiotic as policy, but internally consistent), but it is not the current system, nor remotely resembling it.

Furthermore, many of the policies I cited, like the estate tax and gift tax, are benefits designed for internal support between spouses rather than support of children. Federal law treats married couples as a single legal unit, regardless of whether they have children or not. The support of children is not even a factor in gift or estate tax. Gifts to children are tax-free regardless as they are considered "support", so no gift tax between spouses provides no benefit at all to children. Additionally, children inheriting are subject to estate tax, regardless of where the money is coming from, so the exemption again is clearly to benefit the spouse and not the children.

Quote
The purpose of these marriage laws are to benefit families with children, and to help households financially support and physically care for underage children.

As above, if this were the case, marriage tax breaks would only benefit families with children. It does not. Even if it did, it would not be an argument against gay couples with children from having marriage benefits. Therefore, either the purpose is not to benefit families with children, in which case your premise is false, and therefore nothing follows from it, or gay couples with children should be allowed to marry while straight couples without children should not be allowed to marry, in which case your premise is true but your conclusion is false.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: December 04, 2011, 01:20:56 am
I think Marriage certificates should be given to pregnant women in order to compel their Male Lovers to provide child support. 
You want to force people into marriage? Just FYI, if two people are married, then there's typically no need for child support. It's when they're not married that you typically see court orders forcing men (and very rarely women) to pay child support.
While we're dictating our desires for legalities and parenthood, I very much want to see a mandatory DNA test before any man can be listed as a father on a birth certificate. I don't care if the couple is married or not. Men have a right to know, and having to ask for such a delicate thing is an undue burden.
I'm sure there are financial benefits to legalized gay unions, but I don't know them right now?
Basically, marriage is a financial contract between the 2 spouses, and in the event of a divorce the richer spouse pays alimony to the poorer spouse. 

Married couples are taxed preferentially to unmarried couples in the income tax, particularly if they have disparate incomes (if one is a stay-at-home parent). Additionally, married couples are entitled to increases in certain child support and other family government credits (generally also in their tax payments/refunds). Additionally, there are no estate taxes on transfers between spouses (only applicable to about 0.1% of the population, but still), and no gift taxes on transfers within the marital unit, taxes that unmarried couples must pay.

Furthermore, there are a raft of other, less tangibly economic benefits like hospital visitation rights that are extended to spouses and not to unmarried couples.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: The Egypt 2011/12 Election Thread on: December 03, 2011, 08:40:13 pm
They're pretty much the liberal districts judging from the referendum: Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said, Red Sea.

Alexandria is a stronghold of the Islamists, actually. Quite true that Cairo, Port Said and the Red Sea resorts were likely to be the best results for the liberals, though.
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